THIS bit of technology has changed my work life. Seriously.
Google Drive -- It's made my work life so much easier and more fluid than ever before.
The guy who I worked with on my website's design introduced me to Google Drive, and we still use it today. I put my blog posts into Documents in Google Drive, and he lays them out for me on the blog. (Betcha thought I did all that myself, huh?)
Watch: An Overview of Google Drive
But again, this tool, Google Drive, has made my work so much easier and more fluid.
How I Use Google Drive For Blogging
I wish I could do it all myself, but blogging five days a week is an enormous task. I write a lot on the weekends, and some at night, because my days are spent working for clients. So what I do is: I generate all my content, and he then makes it look good and read well on the site.
Google Drive has been a great way for us to communicate about and collaborate on the blog.
One of the great tools within is the “comments”. You can just highlight the section you wish to comment on, right click, and a window opens up to the right of the document. If you have a question or comment, just type it in that window and it AUTOMATICALLY sends that other person you’ve shared the document with an e-mail with your comment! Genius!
I’ve also found this to be a handy tool for sharing information on projects with my staff and clients.
All I’ve got to say here is that if I can do it, anyone can. I was so technically illiterate two years ago; and although I have a LOOOONG way to go, I’m learning, and I'm not so afraid anymore.
How I Use Google Drive With My Staff
Okay, first we set up a file for a client that is “shared” amongst all of us working on the project. This way, any new document we create for that file is accessible to all, from any device we happen to be using. Yes, this is cloud computing, and it powers the real-time web.
After an initial meeting, the meeting notes are typed into a document, along with the pictures of the job we took at the site. We can also scan and include any sketches with dimensions we did and load them into the document. (Seriously, this is amazing. Everything is all in one place, available at any time, to any staff member, from any device!)
Video: Collaborate On Google Drive
Recently, we started a project and created a new document for each room in our shared file. My staff members then “go shopping” for that job and put links to all kinds of options I might want to use for that room.
For instance, in the case of a bedroom, links to a dresser, a chair, a headboard design, etc. will be included. Then, at my convenience, perhaps late at night at home, I peruse the document and edit some things out, make notes beside some items, add some items myself, etc. It’s there, always available to work on, at home or even on my cell phone! (Yes, I have edited documents on my cell phone!)
At the end of the design phase, and as we start to build a digital board and pull the design plan together for a presentation, all the links are there for us to grab the images from websites so we can build our specifications and proposals later. (Almost all catalogs and sources are available online now. And if they’re not - and some aren’t - they better get there fast or they won’t be specified by anyone!)
How I Work With Clients, Using Google Drive
Now this is really exciting.
For e-design clients I typically send an interactive questionnaire for them to fill out. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. :-/
So, what I've recently started doing is just putting all those questions in a Google Drive document and sharing it with that client. They can then add in their answers. AND the best part is: They can add their own found images right there too! They can even make notes right under their images. It’s like that first meeting with notes and images and dimensions is done and ready to go for us!
Not only that, but I can make a great presentation using what's in this document.
Because I’m well-versed in blogging, I approach any presentation in Google Drive as a blog post. I start off with a greeting, an explanation of what I want to do, and then BAM... I hit them with my drawings and images of samples and furnishings. It really reads like a blog post, And it's so effective at getting across my points.
Currently I have one client who is building a house here in The Woodlands, but lives and works on the exact opposite part of the world! We have some telephone conversations in the evening, but because her day is my night, and vice versa, I can leave her new drawings, progress, questions, etc. in the document during my day. And then, when I get back that next morning, she has responded in that document during her day. It’s working great!
Another quick point: When it comes to a presentation, I might not want a client to have the ability to edit it. So, when I share the document, I can make it to where they're only able to view or comment on it. How awesome is that?
Sigh. I'm in love :-)
Oh, and did I mention that it’s free?!
So, here I am, 54 years old, and I'm learning / using / and becoming more efficient at my work by using this new technology. It’s so exciting.
What will they think of next?!